South Texas sweet onion promotions exceed goals

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South Texas sweet onion promotions exceed goals

The South Texas Onion Committee (STOC) promotion campaign between April and mid-July for Texas 1015 Sweet Onions, focused on increasing brand awareness and sales, with results showing another record-breaking marketing program.

This year was STOC's most comprehensive campaign ever. It included live, print, digital, television, and in-store promotions throughout the season, aimed at retailers, consumers, and trade. 

STOC kicked off the Texas 1015 season with a virtual field tour at the Viva Fresh Expo where 184 participants, mainly retailers, had a first-hand look at the field and the process that goes into delivering sweet onions. 

“The virtual field tours are always popular and ‘get back to the dirt’ by providing a valuable look inside the operations that deliver our nation’s first sweet onion to market each year. Because the tour is live, it is like visiting the operation for yourself and creates great dialogue between our Texas farmers and the stores that will eventually offer Texas 1015 sweet onions to consumers,” says Dante Galeazzi, manager of the South Texas Onion Committee and president of Texas International Produce Association. 

Consumer-focused promotions included a social media campaign which resulted in nearly a 15% increase in followers from 2022, a sweepstake bringing in over 260,000 unique entries and 1.3 million engagements, and a food influencer recipe program and contest featuring seven influencers and harvesting over 600 live votes. 

New to consumer promotions this year and greatly amplifying promotion reach were an Instacart ad campaign and story segments published by Texas food legend David Elder of KSAT12’s Texas Eats on television, social media, and digital. 

Rounding out 2023’s consumer promotions was the TX1015 Restaurant Week. Hosted in the Rio Grande Valley, this event featured seven restaurants highlighting their local fare featuring Texas 1015 sweet onions.

Designed to increase awareness around the Texas 1015 season and availability, the campaign integrated retailer promotions and trade advertising together with this season’s program. STOC partnered with three Texas retailers to promote sales with in-store and digital promotions and a season-long ad campaign in popular trade publications. 

“The proof is in the numbers. This year’s robust campaign successfully reached audiences directly, through social media, through retail, and through trade – and it left an impact,” adds Galeazzi.  

Texas 1015 onion harvest is complete. Although excessive and heavy rains damaged some fields, yields were plentiful, and demands were met. This year, Texas 1015 saw a nearly 40% increase in acreage planted. 

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